Kung Pao chicken is a spicy, stir-fried Chinese dish made with chicken bites, peanuts, vegetables and chili peppers. This classic Sichuan cuisine dish gets its particular flavor from Sichuan peppers and staple sauce.
Like any Chinese stir fry, I love how you can quickly whip the dish by preparing your ingredients in advance and then through a fast and high heat stir fry get the dish cooked and ready to go in a matter of minutes.
If you are looking for a nice weekday evening dish for your family that is packed with flavor, look no further as this dish is for you!
How to make Kung Pao chicken?
This Kung Pao Chicken recipe has three main components to it and simple steps to execute:
This simple marinade helps imbue flavor to the chicken and adds a bit of starch which will help with the cooking process and the sauce in the end.
You marinade your cubed chicken with a mix of soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine and corn starch. This is a quick marinade which needs around 15-20 minutes at room temperature.
The sauce is really important and if you want the right consistency, your secret ingredient is the cornstarch which will help thicken the sauce to coat well your stir fry.
Mix soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine, palm sugar (or regular sugar), Chinese black vinegar (or white vinegar) and chili-garlic sauce together. Then, take a tbsp of warm water and mix in the cornstarch until diluted and add to your sauce.
The rules to stir frying are simple to execute well:
- Prepare all your ingredients in advance as you will have to cook your ingredients quickly under high heat with no time to cut vegetables or prep ingredients in advance.
- Don’t overcrowd your wok or you will end up with mushy ingredients. What you are looking for is nice and crunchy vegetables which retain full flavor by cooking quickly and at a high heat.
- Be careful with seasonings like garlic, ginger, chilis and spices, they will cook quickly and burn if you leave them for too long. You have to get them fragrant and add your meat or vegetables quickly thereafter.
- Finally, cook your ingredients in steps and reserve until its time to combine.
For the Kung Pao chicken recipe, you will start by cooking your chicken with peanut oil and reserve.
Then, you will sequentially cook chilis and Sichuan peppercorns until fragrant, followed by garlic, ginger and green onions.
Add to those you vegetables for a minute and combine with chicken.
Finish up with your peanuts and add your sauce to combine and coat your stir fry.
Garnish with your peanuts, green onion and serve on a bed of Jasmin rice
- 1 1/2 lb of chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- 1 tsp of corn starch
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp of Chinese cooking wine
- 2 tsp of cornstarch
- 1 tbsp of palm sugar (or regular sugar if unavailable)
- 1 tbsp of Chinese black vinegar (or white vinegar if unavailable)
- 1 tbsp of chili-garlic sauce
- 1 tbsp of fresh ginger, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 green onions, finely sliced (white and green parts separated)
- 1 tbsp of Sichuan peppercorns
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 celery branch, diced
- 10 dried chili peppers, whole
- 1/4 cup of peanut oil
- 1/2 cup of unsalted peanuts or cashews
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- Combine the cubed chicken, 1 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine and 1 tsp of corn starch in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep in the fridge for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Mix the Sauce ingredients except the corn starch in a small bowl until well combined. Add a tbsp of warm water to the cornstarch and combine prior to adding to the rest of the sauce./li>
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to a wok on high heat and cook half of the chicken until almost cooked. (about 2-3 minutes), reserve.
- Wipe the wok with a paper towel and add the rest of the peanut oil.
- Turn the heat to medium high and add the chilis and Szechuan peppercorns to the wok and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the onion and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout
- Add the garlic and ginger and white part of the green onions, cook for another minute, stirring throughout
- Add the red pepper and celery, cook for another minute, stirring throughout.
- Add the chicken back in the work with 3/4 of the peanuts and stir for one more minute.
- Add the sauce and cook for another minute until the chicken is well coated.
- Garnish with remaining peanuts and the green part of the green onion and serve with Jasmin rice.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.